From ‘baby brain’ to ‘man flu’: Bizarre myths or real ailments? (POLL)
Baby brain is the latest addition to the growing list of ailments – once thought to be nothing more than myths conjured up by pregnant women and poorly men pleading for sympathy.
Baby brain, or ‘momnesia’ as it’s also known, is a forgetful phenomenon allegedly experienced by 50 to 80 percent of pregnant women, which some academics have dismissed as a myth.
Not ones to let the British Medical Journal’s confirmation of ‘man flu’ go unchallenged, The Medical Journal of Australia conducted the largest ever statistical analysis of baby brain by looking at 20 studies involving 709 pregnant women, and 521 non-pregnant women.
Overall, the analysis concluded that expectant women, particularly those in the last three months of gestation, experienced a significant decline in cognitive and executive functioning and memory.
Researchers found baby brain had the greatest impact on expectant mother’s memories – like increased forgetfulness and missed appointments – essentially backing up the excuse used by soon-to-be mothers for millennia.
"We are talking about an effect that will be noticeable to the women themselves and it may even be noticeable to people that are close to them," said researcher and Associate Professor Linda Byrne to The Age.
Researchers were adamant, however, that the lapses in memory are not severe enough to have any significant consequences, like impact a woman’s job performance, as their cognitive functions still remain within normal limits.
In 2017, a study into man flu explored “whether men are wimps or just have weaker immune systems” and determined that men “may not be exaggerating symptoms” but rather have weaker immune responses to respiratory viruses.
Given this new, irrefutable evidence we’d like to know, who’s side are you on in this ultimate battle of the sexes?